Spartans all out to avoid heavy defeat

After losing 1-6 to Hibernians last week, Hamrun Spartans will be all out to avoid another heavy defeat as they face leaders Valletta in one of the two BOV Premier League matches in programme on Saturday at the National Stadium.

The Spartans suffered a humiliating 8-2 defeat to Valletta in the first round and therefore the main objective is that of avoiding another heavy defeat. They lost nine of the last ten matches and are currently third from bottom on sixteen points.

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Valletta registered three wins over Hibernians, Birkirkara and Sliema Wanderers in the past three weeks, before defeating Nadur Youngsters 2-0 in the U*BET FA Trophy fourth round last Wednesday.

For the Citizens, Denni Rocha dos Santos is ruled out through suspension but Daniel Bogdanovic is set to make his league debut after making his first appearance in the FA Trophy. Hamrun Spartans, on the other hand, should have Emiliano Lattes in the starting line-up after joining the club after a five-month spell with Mqabba. Gianluca Calabretta is reportedly on the verge of joining Tarxien Rainbows.

Meanwhile in the first match, Rabat Ajax continue to chase their first win as they take on Floriana.

The two teams had mixed fortunes in the U*BET FA Trophy as Rabat registered a most comfortable 5-0 win over Gozitan side Sannat Lions while Floriana were eliminated by First Division leaders Lija Athletic.

The Greens collected four points from the last five matches, sharing the spoils in a goalless draw with Melita last week. Rabat, on the other hand, claimed four points from seven matches, earning a point in a 1-1 draw with Balzan last Sunday.

Floriana will probably be led by assistant coach Gary Howard following the departure of Stephen Azzopardi. Floriana’s Brooke Farrugia and Rabat’s Patrick Borg will be back after serving a one-match ban. The Magpies should have in squad Malcolm Licari who joins the club from Balzan.

In the first round, Floriana defeated Rabat 3-0.